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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Feb 6, 2024 8:31 pm

Nearing end of homestand, Celtics ready to handle Hawks

celtics, grizzlies

The Boston Celtics will attempt to improve to 4-2 on their current seven-game homestand when they face the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

The Celtics began the homestand with a 115-96 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers but have won three of their four games since then. Despite not having LeBron James or Anthony Davis available, the Los Angeles Lakers beat Boston 114-105 on Thursday, but the Celtics rebounded and improved their home record to 23-3 by defeating a depleted Memphis team 131-91 on Sunday.

The Grizzlies had only eight players available for that contest because 13 were on the injury report.

“Regardless of who was out — they had a lot of guys out — we just tried to focus on us,” said Jayson Tatum, who led Boston with 34 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes. “We didn’t want to get caught up in maybe playing down to the competition, or whatever. We wanted to come out here and show them respect by playing the right way and playing hard and competing on both ends of the floor.”

Boston played without Jaylen Brown (lower back tightness), and the team rested four of its starters for the fourth quarter.

The Hawks had their four-game winning streak end with a 149-144 loss to the visiting Clippers on Monday. Atlanta made 20 of its 39 3-point attempts, but Los Angeles was 21 of 35 from deep.

“They started really, really hot, and we hung in there even early in the game, which I thought was important, and kind of ground our way back into it,” Atlanta coach Quin Snyder said. “We compete like that, we’re going to be in games and good things are going to happen.”

Atlanta’s De’Andre Hunter came off the bench to score 27 points. Hunter missed 19 games after having a nonsurgical procedure on his right knee and has been on a minutes restriction since returning on Jan. 30. He played only two minutes in the fourth quarter and 19 in the game.

“It’s good to have him, even if it’s not as much as we’d like right now,” Snyder said. “The most important thing is he’s back playing.”

Trae Young added 25 points for the Hawks, who played without center Clint Capela (left adductor strain). Capela was injured during Saturday’s victory over the Golden State Warriors and is expected to miss at least seven to 10 days.

Atlanta has played its past six games at home.

“So now we have two (games) on the road we have to go take care of, starting in Boston. … Best team in the league this year and a tough place to play,” Young said. “They don’t lose there very often, so we have to do something a lot of teams don’t do.”

Wednesday’s matchup will be the second game between the Hawks and Celtics this season. Boston received 34 points from Tatum and prevailed 113-103 at home on Nov. 26. The Celtics’ Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday both missed that game due to injuries.

Young, who is averaging a team-high 27.3 points per game, led the Hawks with 33 points and seven assists.

–Field Level Media

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